Each year Team Novo Nordisk scouts athletes with type 1 diabetes who are hopeful to one day race for the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. The TalentID program is the strong foundation for Team Novo Nordisk as nine of the current pro riders have come through the program and all of the 2021 development team members have been identified through the TalentID program.
This year the program schedule includes two virtual camps followed by an in-person final selection camp.
“We have 70 athletes from over 20 countries participating,” Morgan Brown, TalentID Camp Manager, says. “This is the first step into our pipeline to the professional team. It is also a great educational opportunity to learn more not only about training and racing but also managing your diabetes.”
Charlotte Hayes, Head of Diabetes, Wellness and Education at Team Novo Nordisk says, “The program helps riders learn how to train and race with diabetes at incrementally challenging levels and launch them into the pro teams. That’s important but there are many young athletes who participate in our program who may not continue into racing careers, but they certainly do learn about glucose management, diabetes management and integrating an active lifestyle that focuses on exercise as a core.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the usually in-person camps to go virtual last year. “The nice thing about the virtual camps is we have campers from previous years popping back into the virtual program so they’re still getting some benefit with training and everything we offer in terms of learning more about glucose management on the bike. Science evolves and we get smarter over the years so there’s always new tidbits we can provide.” Hayes says.
Science is certainly at the core of the program. The Wahoo SUF Training App which is part of the Wahoo Fitness’ training ecosystem is the team’s official partner in hosting the virtual camps. The goal of the app is to give athletes tailored workouts based on their profile and give them an understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses are.
Mac Cassin, Senior Physiologist at Wahoo Fitness says, “The TalentID program is a unique demographic of junior racers living with type 1 diabetes. A lot of them are repeats from last year so we’re able to see what changes they made in the last year. One of the goals of continuing to do this program is to fill out that data set so we have an idea of what this demographic looks like. That’s been an exciting component.”
Brown says, “The Wahoo SUF Training App is a great training tool and also how we gauge the athletes athletic abilities. It’s a training program they can complete at home. From on the Wahoo SUF App results, we will be selecting the top 25 athletes to attend an in-person camp in France in July. The Wahoo SUF Training App not only has great cycling specific workouts but a ton of off the bike work athletes can do. Everything from strength training to yoga to mental preparation.”
There are other benefits that come with taking part in the Talent ID camp. Hayes says many young athletes have said they feel alone in the world of type 1, they especially don’t know anyone else who is trying to exercise or race bikes with type 1 but once they’re in the camps and start communicating with a new community of people like them, these friendships tend to last.
The first virtual camp took place on 6 – 9 May while the second one is scheduled for 27 – 30 May. The in-person camp is scheduled to take place in France on 20 – 25 July.
— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com